Leicester City are facing an exodus following their relegation. The players responsible are leaving, but there are a few gems hidden amongst the ash.
I think it is obvious that many of the King Power club’s players were subpar at best, abysmal at their worst. They were simply not good enough to even be considered players: so many were passengers on a runaway backwards locomotive. That lack of leadership and sense of duty to change course and get back on track is what irritates me most.
A blame game is worthless when essentially every player is in some way to blame for the failure. However, this is not entirely a fair assertion. There remain a few ‘squaddies’ who put in the effort and tried to do something. Leicester can count themselves unlucky not to have more of them.
Leicester City’s creative duo
Two names stand obviously upon this list. At the front of ‘King Power Express’ desperately trying to steer the train onto fresh tracks were Kelechi Iheanacho and James Maddison: the two best creators.
When judged by xG90 + xA90 (a calculation of creativity and attacking involvement per 90 minutes), these two stand miles ahead of those who actually played a sizeable sum of fixtures. For fun, the third place is taken up by Ayoze Perez. The Foxes did not play the Nigerian forward enough, although ‘Madders’ was obviously omnipresent across the season.
Further, both have since made heartfelt comments regarding the relegation failure of the King Power. Yet, to Leicester, these two have done little wrong if sometimes being overconfident for taking on a shot from a weak position.
It might sound strange to praise defenders, but in reality there are three defenders who put in contribution after contribution, maybe their positioning was not always perfect, but at least they put the effort it. Particularly, I name Harry Souttar, Caglar Soyuncu, and – yes – Victor Kristiansen for their contributions.
The Australian was signed in January and is extremely unlucky to have not scored a couple goals. His positioning in the opposition and defensive boxes for corners was superb. On top of this, the player was kept excessively active, making the third most clearances per game. The players above him are Jonny Evans and ‘Cags’. Interesting to not see Wilfred Ndidi there.
The Turk did not play anywhere near as much as he should have. With 4.1 clearances per game, and 60% of aerial duels won, the player is clearly the most important Leicester City defender, completely ignored by the previous head coach.
Meanwhile, Kristiansen was an energetic and purposeful defender. Unfortunately his positioning let him down from time to time, and his play twisted from consistent forward runs penetrating the backline to a much tamer defensive style. I look forward to seeing the original back next campaign.